Test Page for comments on February 2005 post at TMH2

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Opening Notice Edit

This is a test page in a test section of this wiki to show activists how using a wiki is different than using threads of a weblog, which is obviously diffenent than trying to have email conversations.

Please change if you think any of this mis represents what you where trying to communicate:

A healthy challenge of learning while doing Edit

was started with the mock up of the TMH2 site to a weblog. This is a really useful discussion, we've been trying to visualize the interactive component of our new website for a while, and this is helping.

Vision Edit

We're looking for discussion on the text that is being provided online (stuff that didn't make it into the book) as well as comments that people make about whatever in the book.

We should go with the Unite To Win format, because template stays same and because it seems user friendly and well organized. I agree that doesn't allow for larger control over content.

Please remember this is a mock up, we can make the weblog look like the TMH2 site easily.

(Like unite to win, you want a closer design thanlike CGEU news site. (go to the news section, it is a weblog)

We don't have a huge audience that expects that as union organizers do we take the temperture or do we try to raise it? Meaning we are able to create expectations of how to communicate.

We can add on a wiki for the few that do have more demands/expectations/savvy-ness.

Generated Ideas Edit

Post the entire book online Edit

via the online site a chunck at time to create a buzz about the book, improve sales, and traffic.

A separate page for each chapter from the TMH (or for each topic of discussion), that also shows the comments made on that section and links to other sections, etc.

Ideally, LN would post the complete chapters themselves, serially like Dickens published his books. Each chapter placed online would be a good pitch for LN and would initiate a new stream of discussion. (I don't think this would harm sales, to the contrary, but I don't have anything to back that up.)

Cory Doctorow has done well releasing his book online

Neil Stephenson realesed his book along with a wiki:

"A seperate page for each chapter, that looks static, but has the tools" - this is easy, first of all, a weblog looks much like a regular website, if you don't know the difference. And to answer another question about direct linking to a post, if you check that link I sent you, it shouldn't point to the front page anymore, it should point to the post that is now "buried" in the archives. One of the beautiful things about weblogs is that they allow people to comment to very specific text. In some weblog software, you can even link directly to individual comments.

The staff is not ready to agree to posting the book online (even progressively and even with that license thing).

Authors of chapters (and designated editors like Jane) would have access to rewrite the chapters online, working in comments and ideas they like. Readers could suggest changes and then it would be up to authors/editors to adopt them or not. Someone would have to be sure to archive the changes.

In a wiki all changes are archived.

So would this mean a blog (chapter or initial message with comments) accompanied by a wiki -- a version of the text that is subject to editing, like this page?

You could use a Creative Commons license, changed to require people to use only links to the LN site, or frames, or the whole html of the page, so that the content is preserved intact.

Brilliant idea!

Interest based user groups Edit

To set up a tmh2 users group, something like this: "In chapter 3 it says file a group grievance, but our contract says 'grievant,' not 'grievants,' can we still do what you say?"

Answer [from author]: "I'm not an attorney, but of course you can. The contract is not their to keep you from defending your rights, you have to go ahead and do it and make management and the union adjust to the new reality. What do others think?"

Answer [from attorney LN asked to reply]: "I can't give legal advice in this format, but in general terms you can find a way to file a group grievance, try this..."

In the basic weblog, content comes from whatever people posting there want to discuss. Or we can start off dialoge with a message from designated person on the theme of a particular TMH chapter and is open to commentary from whoever.

Live discussion of issues Edit

Using a wiki would be creating a living document that people (designated or open to all) could edit as they see fit. I don't think that that is what you want because you are not creating a collaboratively written piece, but opening a space for debate and discussion about TMH, right?

But a wiki si a space for debate and discussion, it can be used to distill the essence of the threads and threads of back and forth to a commonly understood idea.

The social aspect of this software is going to be only as good a community grows out of it. I think there is a thirst for union activists to talk to each other. Weblogs and wikis are merely first steps for this.

Core group of monthly posters Edit

To rope in a core group of people (authors of chapters would be a good start) to post a message each month or so. Those messages would give people something to respond to. For example, there are already changes I would make to the website chapter (about blogs and wikis!). I can't add them to the book, but I could mention them on the website. You would also need a LN staffer or volunteer to serve as general coordinator of this, reading all the comments, adding relevant info, helping clarify discussion. Visitors could ask questions, so it might serve as a users group to some extent.

Technology Fears Edit

Style, it doesn't look like our site. Edit

  • A really clear and easy to use homepage (designed for people who know nothing at all about the tools). It should appear to be static and old-fashioned, but should use the new tech.
  • Concerned that the blog/wiki (if I got the terms right) doubles up w what we already have, namely the new site for the book. And I still don't like that it feels separate; I am still a big advocate of the unitetowin concept (same unmoveable template, so that before, during or after discussing whatever, folks will easily go back to our site / also ease of commenting just seems appealing).
  • Is it possible to have a wiki site that uses the same template as we're already using? (To see that template, go to One thing we don't want is for people to enter the interactive portion of the site and feel like they've wandered off the TMH2 site. So, if we could use these interactive features between the sidebars used on the TMH2 website, that would be certainly be a plus.

Please remember this is a mock up, we can make the weblog look like the TMH2 site easily, and make comments appear and say whatever we want.

Commenting Edit

  • Can we move the comments up on the page, "above the fold" or linked up top with an easy and obvious name?
  • We would need very clear and easy-to-read instructions somewhere, available as soon as someone's indicated that they want to comment (I presume by clicking an "add a comment" link, or something like that.)

Currently "add a comment" is "speak up here", the text and location can be changed, remember, this is just a mock up.

  • Don't understand commenting. How does this facilitate a threaded conversation?

Threads can happen in commenting section of a weblog. A real active weblog like dKos can get 100's of comments.


Maybe folks understand a little more how this works, now that they have done it?

How did you do? Seems you were able to work it :-) What more is needed?

Navigation Edit

  • It is difficult to navigate the weblog. (blogspot)

We can easily help new users understand weblog technology. It is similar to a regular website except that new content gets added to the top, like a stack of plates. Weblogs are time orientated, easy to publish content sites.

Wiki vs weblog vs forums Edit

  • Navigation, it is difficult to navigate the wiki (Laborpedia)

Wiki is a little harder to understand. What do you mean anyone can edit anything! That is crazy :-) Really it is quite cool.

  • I guess I like idea of Laborpedia. I have to study some of the examples offered better to see how ease of use factors in (but am concerned, see above). Are we positive of the wiki's the the info/comments/discussion is organized better???

Do we think we can work as a group better than isolated?

  • Wait on Laborpedia. Maybe some kind of pedia will become necessary, but I don't see why it is needed.

The Laborpedia idea has been advocated for in certain tech union cirlces for a couple years now, Mark Dilley will start it soon, would like you folks to be a part of it. You most certainly could link to it anytime you wanted, and if it worked well enough you could start your own wiki for the tmh3 in the next few years. I think it would be amazing to have 100's of stories of victory and defeat, and lessons learned.

  • I'm still very unclear about what a wiki page allows folks to do that a blog (like unite to win) doesn't. Can someone explain that to me? It sounds like on a wiki page, much more of the content is modifiable-- is this the case? Right now, we're all commenting on this wiki page (editor note: nope a weblog) in the same way I would on a blog-- what could I be doing that would make this different/better?

These comments were made originally on a weblog, now they have been moved to a wiki and reworked to show off the tool of wiki.

  • Hosting a discussion forum on the book (moderated or not). I think that will not work well -- why should I come to the LN website to comment on a book I am reading? (Some people will do it, but I know I would not.)

Agreed, people will only come to the site and stay if it is an active online community. Otherwise it will just wallow.

Other questions Edit

  • What is direct linking in weblogs? I couldn't figure it out when I went to the homepage.

here is an example:

does that help?

  • Is this weblog public? If so, we should think about that.

Yes it is, but it is not pinging any of the search engines, so we should get virtualy no foot traffic. It is also not linked to anything, so Google shouldn't find it easily and when it does, it won't rank it high. It is just a mock up so it can be destroyed also.

  • How much staff time do you all have to work with?

Decision making Edit

We need to make some decision soon, so how do we come to a conclusion?

It would help to have some more clarity on content, before moving to setting up whatever option seems best.

If you don't post the chapters from TMH2, then you need to find some content to drive the discussion.

We are talking about the same think, a unite to win format, using tmh2 templete, with a weblog for discussions, maybe like "roping in a core group of people (authors of chapters would be a good start) to post a message each month or so."

So what about a combo - Unite To Win format with a link to a wiki?

Talking to folks, asking for $ quotes. They want to know how much content from the static website would want to be on the weblog?

Authors Edit

This content was created by Marsha, Matt Noyes, William and Mark Dilley

Links referenced Edit

Wiki stuff Edit

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